Table Tennis

[Competition venue: Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium]

  • Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium

    Table: 2.74m long x 1.525m wide; 76cm above the floor
    Net height: 15.25 cm above the playing surface

    Players hit a small, lightweight ball back and forth across a table using rubber-coated rackets.

    Individuals compete in singles event (one against one), while teams consisting of three players compete in singles and doubles (two against two).

    Key Points

    A small, lightweight, high-spinning ball is hit back and forth across a table at high speeds. The ball moves so quickly that spectators cannot take their eyes off the ball for a moment. Differences in the speed at which the ball is hit result in dynamic rallies.
    Spectators are overwhelmed by the agility, mental focus and flexibility demonstrated by the payers during rallies. The fierce match taking place on such a small table is one of the main attractions of the sport.


    Table tennis started as an after-dinner alternative to lawn tennis in England in the 1890s. The equipment used at that time was different from today: the rounded top of a champagne cork was used as the ball and cigar box lids as the rackets. In the 1900s, rubber-coated rackets with a similar shape to modern rackets were introduced. With the continuing evolution of rackets, numerous new techniques have been invented. In response to these, the rules have also been modified in turn.
    Table tennis made its Olympic debut at the Seoul 1988 Games. At the London 2012 Games, the Japanese women's team (Ai Fukuhara, Kasumi Ishikawa and Sayaka Hirano) won the silver medal.


    (IOC Announcement, June9, 2017)

    Event Singles
    Mixed Doubles